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A Macroeconomic perspective on skill shortages and the skill premium in New Zealand

  • Razzak, Weshah
  • Timmins, Jason

Qualification and occupation-based measures of skilled labour are constructed to explain the skill premium – the wage of skilled labour relative to unskilled labour in New Zealand. The data exhibit a more rapid growth in the supply of skilled labour than the skill premium, and a very large increase in the real minimum wage over the period from 1986 to 2005. We estimate the rate of increase in the relative demand for skills and the elasticity of substitution. The data are consistent with skill shortages and a skill-bias technical change. We examine the effects of the minimum wage, capital complementarity, and the exchange rate on the skill premium. We also test whether the demand for skills and the elasticity of substitution varied across industries and over time.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1884/1/MPRA_paper_1884.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1884.

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Date of creation: 08 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1884
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  1. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P., 1998. "Real exchange rates under the recent float: unequivocal evidence of mean reversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 131-137, August.
  2. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
  3. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  4. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
  5. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Human Capital Policies and the Distribution of Income: A Framework for Analysis and Literature Review," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/03, New Zealand Treasury.
  7. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 1997. "The Behaviour of Real Exchange Rates During the Post-Bretton Woods Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 1730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  10. Elliott, Graham, 1999. "Efficient Tests for a Unit Root When the Initial Observation Is Drawn from Its Unconditional Distribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 767-83, August.
  11. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
  12. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1998. "Employment versus Wage Adjustment and the US Dollar," NBER Working Papers 6749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. W A Razzak, 2004. "Towards Building A New Consensus About New Zealand’s Productivity," GE, Growth, Math methods 0405002, EconWPA.
  14. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  15. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  16. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 740R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1986.
  18. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Jeff Borland, 2000. "Economic Explanations of Earnings Distribution Trends in the International Literature and Application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/16, New Zealand Treasury.
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